EDITORIAL: 'Why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?'


Provincial Leaders of Mouseland are leaving their post, some by choice, and some not.


One by one over the last few weeks/months the leadership of provincial NDP are calling it quits, getting turfed or still looking for a permanent leader after years in the wilderness.


There has never been an exodus of turnover in the provincial leadership of the NDP ever. Only two provincial leaders and one Territorial leader are looking safe right now. Those leaders are Alberta's Rachel Notley, Manitoba's Wab Kinew, and Yukon's Kate White.


Outside of those leaders, the NDP is in shambles right now, and it doesn't spell hope federally if your provincial cousins are in disarray.


In British Columbia Premier John Horgan called it quits Tuesday afternoon saying that he doesn't have it in him for potentially 6 more years of being the premier's chair. Now some have speculated that this is due to his recent cancer treatments, which is understandable but the timing for his announcement couldn't have come at a worse time for the NDP. Kevin Falcon and the - still called - British Columbia Liberals are mounting a campaign to try and take back control of the province after 6 years in the political wilderness.


In Saskatchewan Carla Beck was crowned the new leader of the Saskatchewan NDP after Ryan Meili stepped down earlier this year after a disastrous showing in the northwest riding of Athabasca. Beck says that she will do things differently and her first challenge will be keeping Meili's old seat of Saskatoon-Meewasin in the NDP fold. The Saskatchewan Party and Premier Scott Moe have sent fundraiser letter after fundraiser letter asking for support to win the former NDP leaders' riding.


Beck will need to find a winning coalition to keep the seat in the NDP fold, but it looks as though the leader will have an uphill battle on her hand.


In Ontario ultimately the biggest province for the NDP to find a path to victory, Andrea Horwath announced she wasn't staying on as leader after the provincial election in June. She has relatively kept a low profile since the election and on Tuesday when BC premier John Horgan was announcing his departure the Ontario NDP tried to look renewed with their announcement of longtime MPP Peter Tabuns as the new Interim Leader.


Tabuns a party stalwart said that he will hold the governing PC's - who have a major majority at Queens Park - to account. This will be a major undertaking when some of the caucus will be running to lead the party, and the PC's will be rushing through their mandate to "Get It Down".


In Atlantic Canada the provincial NDP wings have been in the political wilderness for some time and signs don't show that changing in the near future.


In New Brunswick the youngest NDP leader in the country Mackenzie Thomason stepped down from his role due to internal comments among executive members. Thomason was replaced by the New Brunswick NDP Vice President Alex White.


The New Brunswick NDP has not held a seat in the legislature since 2003. From 1991 to 2003 the party had only one seat in the legislature since the departure of former Leader Elizabeth Weir the party has been slowly declining in support. In the 2020 election, the party under Thomason only received 1.65% of the overall vote in the province, the party's worst showing since 1967 when the party received 0.1% of the vote.


In Nova Scotia Claudia Chender has taken the reigns of the party from outgoing leader Gary Burrill. Chender is tasked with taking the once governing party back to the top. Under Burrill the party has flatlined and has slowly been bleeding support to other parties.


The Prince Edward Island NDP is often the forgotten cousin of the NDP as they have only ever elected 1 NDP MLA in the province of PEI and have never really been a factor. In 1996 the NDP made a major breakthrough by electing one MLA to the PEI Legislature. Since then the party has been a non-factor in the small island province.


Enter Michelle Neill, their new leader. She takes over the party after two years of not having a leader. I'm going to repeat that. TWO YEARS WITHOUT HAVING A LEADER. No interim leader, no permanent leader nothing. Neill will need to work her butt off to ensure the party doesn't continue on the decline and stay irrelevant.


In the newest province of the confederation, Newfoundland and Labrador, the NDP are in a bit of disarray when it comes to their leadership. Alison Coffin the former Leader of the NFLD NDP lost her seat in the last general election and said she was going to stay on as leader. She lasted a full 8 months before the party members decided to turf her out.


She was replaced by Member of the House Assembly (MHA) James Dinn. Dinn has somewhat grown the party as former PC MHA Lela Evans crossed the floor and joined the third-place NDP.


While only 10 months since taking over as Interim Leader, the NDP has yet to call a leadership election to replace Coffin as the leader.


With 2022 being the year NDP leaders from coast to coast to coast take walks in the snow, it begs the question. Are the NDP ungovernable and is the NDP brand tarnished beyond repair? If leaders provincially are leaving in droves is it only time for the NDP to finally take a walk in the snow?


The days of Douglas, Layton, Broadbent, McLaughlin, and McDonough are in the rearview mirror and it looks as though the NDP are hard-pressed to find leaders that inspire and lead them back into the political realm as serious options.


To take a page from Tommy Douglas, the father of the NDP, "Look fellows why do we keep electing a government made up of cats, why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?". Maybe we have the answer finally, Maybe Canadians are happy electing a government made of Cats? Or maybe the NDP is no longer the party of Mouseland, but the party of NDPland?